Have you ever heard of people winning free prizes? Winning sweepstakes? Think it’s too good to be true? I’ve been entering sweepstakes since 2004, and I promise you, anyone can win!
Does anyone really win sweepstakes?
The answer is yes!
Some of the things I have won in the past years include TVs, cash, t-shirts, vacations, and gift cards…..
I’ve been entering sweepstakes as a hobby since 2004. Its a profitable hobby! And it’s fun too.
It isn’t hard, and doesn’t take a lot of extra time if you can multi-task as you watch TV. (Let’s face it – it serves me better than surfing on Facebook or Instagram!)
How do you win free prizes with online sweepstakes?
It’s easy as pie. I usually enter mine while I’m doing my nightly Netflix and chill.
Find a sweepstakes site that you like.
I have been a member of a few sweepstakes websites over the years, some have faded out, some just weren’t formatted in a way I found to be easy. You can currently find me sweeping at Sweeps Atlas. I love the format and the positivity that comes from the site! It’s a newer site but has already evolved into one of the best sites I’ve found.
Some of the benefits of joining a sweepstakes website are:
- Sweepstakes are all in one place.
- Sweepstakes are usually checked by an editor or owner to ensure they are legitimate sites.
- Online community of like minded people!
- They usually have notes that share information like how to send for alternate entries or answers to trivia.
Here are some sweeping tips to help you get started:
- Get a free email account that is used only for sweepstakes entering. (You can end up getting a LOT of newsletters, etc, and so you want to have a separate account.) But don’t forget to check it daily because lots of wins get sent via email. (Check that junk mail folder too, and make sure you don’t miss a win!)
- Get an autofill setting on your browser so you can go a little faster, and it can populate the common fields for you.
Ok, joined?? GREAT! Now just start entering!
Types of Sweepstakes
There are several different types of sweepstakes. My favorites are one time entry and instants, but that’s my personal choice. I’ll explain the pros and cons of them all!
Again, this is my ALL TIME favorite. Why? Instant gratification! You learn right then if you have won or lost the instant prizes.
Sometimes, these instant wins have instant prizes, and then later will draw for a grand prize. So if you don’t win the instant – have hope. You could potentially win the grand prize!
One Time Entry
These sweepstakes allow a one time only entry. The upside of this is that everyone is on equal playing ground. I can only enter once, as well as everyone else. The odds are stacked fairly between us all. I have won a few of these — the best one time entry I won was a trip to NYC with a free culinary class. (Yes, I’ve won two trips to NYC!)
Daily entries allow you to enter every single day for the duration of the sweepstakes. Lots of people like these because the odds are stacked in your favor if you are someone who remembers to enter every single day! So if I only remember to enter twice, but you enter all 50 times you could – well, you are a lot more likely to win than me.
I can’t say that these are really much on my radar. You can enter infinitely. However, don’t let the odds discourage you.
There was an instant sweep, that was also unlimited. The grand prize was a trip to NYC with a $1000 American Express card. It was actually from Jane magazine. I entered a whopping 3 times, each just hoping to win the instant win tube of lipstick with no luck. Sure enough, I was drawn as the grand prize winner!! Just think only 3 entries among people who likely enter multiple multiple times daily. It only takes that one lucky entry!!
Weekly and Monthly Entries
Again, these aren’t really much on my radar. They mean what they sound like. Either once a week entry or once a month. I find these hard to keep track of.
I’ve just started doing these, as they have just now gotten some steam. I did win an Applebees card through a text entry. I find these to be mostly local or limited to a tri-state area.
These are now commonplace among instagram. I do enter these but only if I follow them already, and they have something I want. These tend to be smaller type prizes (not always).
They are exactly as it sounds – sweepstakes on Facebook. You typically have to like the page to enter. I don’t do these often, mostly because I was starting to junk up my feed from following them. I use my FB to connect to my very large family, so it wasn’t really a tool I wanted to use.
Blogs often have giveaways. These tend to be smaller prizes (again not always), and you usually have to comment or do something particular to enter. These often have a smaller pool of entries, and your odds can be increased for winning.
Contests (essays, photos, etc)
These can be very good to enter, as it causes a smaller pool of entries. You usually have to write an essay, send a photo, write a recipe, or other task. I won a butcher block of knives from Emeril in a recipe contest!!
Sweepstakes Strategies to Help You Win
There are a few strategies you can use to increase your chances for success in the sweepstakes world:
Entering Sweepstakes Takes Patience
I usually tell people it takes about 3 months of consistency to start seeing wins. Yes, 3 solid months of entering daily without any expectation of wins falling from the sky.
Why is this? First of all, you will have to wait for the sweep to officially close. You may enter in May and it not end until July. Additionally, they often don’t draw a winner for days to weeks. The most recent trip win I won ended in December, and I was notified in APRIL!
Enter Something Daily
Speaking of consistency – enter something daily. I am not saying enter 100 sweepstakes a day. (But if you can enter more, your odds go up!) I get that we don’t all don’t have that kind of time. Find a few that you enter daily though, even if it’s 5 of them. Maybe pick the one you really want to win, or that is super easy to enter. I personally like to enter all the instant wins daily. It’s fun, quick, and sometimes an instant gratification.
Have A Moral Compass
Yes, indeed – especially if you believe in karma. Don’t enter something you won’t or can’t use. For example, I never enter sweeps that have a prize to go to a sports event. I don’t like sports, so I will leave those for someone who truly does.
Enter Sweepstakes Efficiently
I want to get in, enter as quickly as possible, and move on. Sometimes, I will open several tabs at a time and work my way through them.
I also use an autofill option through my browser. It basically populates my name, address, phone number for me so I don’t have to type them over and over. (There is a special type of program called Roboform you can get to fill out things for you at lightning speed. I don’t use it. Sometimes this will get you disqualified. There are some conflicting opinions on this, but that is mine.)
Be Willing to do the “Extra”
One of my wins was a knife block from Emeril. It required a recipe. I submitted something I make for my family at least once a week, and that I sort of made up on my own. Yes, it took a few extra minutes to type it up, but these extra steps usually mean less competition!!!
What NOT to Do When Entering Online Sweepstakes
Of course, there are a few things you shouldn’t do when entering sweepstakes:
- Don’t ever give out your social security number online! You may need to give your social security on an affidavit if you were to win a huge prize for tax purposes. However, you would never have to enter your SSN to enter a sweepstakes.
- Don’t cheat! Don’t break rules, try to enter with multiple accounts, or do anything else you shouldn’t do! Not only is it just bad form and bad karma, but they will find out and you can get serious bans for future sweepstakes!
So, go and enter, enter, enter!!! Remember, be patient, and it will happen!
If you need ANY help at all, or have any questions on sweepstakes as a hobby, just email me or leave a comment. I’d love to help you get your sweeping hobby started!!
If you already enter sweepstakes and have won prizes, I’d love to hear about the prizes and the sweepstakes, or see pictures of your trips!! I love cheering on others who enter!
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